8 min read

Do At-Home LED Masks Work? Separating Fact & Fiction

A closeup of a young woman's face sideways. She is lying down, content, with her eyes closed under red LED light therapy

An LED mask for face treatments? This zero-pain anti-aging utopia deserves a closer look. Does light therapy mask application really work (inside or) outside of the salon? What is the best at-home LED face mask on the market today? And why should you care?

First things first. Let's delve into a quick overview of LED therapy, including who, what, when, and where. 


What is LED and how did we get to LED face mask treatments?

What is LED?

LED is an abbreviation for "Light-emitting Diode," but we call it by its full name only if it's been naughty. In the mid-60s, there lived a Dr. Mester, Endre Mester. He deserved this "Bond, James Bond" introduction on account of being the father of photobiomodulation, also called low-level light therapy (LLLT) or simply light therapy. 


Light therapy is a non-invasive intervention that changes the state of a biological organism via light (photo (light) + bios (life) + modulari (to regulate)). Mr. Mester worked in an important field, testing the effect of light on tumor growth, literally looking for the cure for cancer. For that noble purpose, he shaved a mouse and shone a low-power laser onto its skin. He hoped for a noticeable tumor cell change but got a surprising bonus. The red light therapy helped the mouse grow its coat back faster, and the wounds healed quicker.


How did we get to LED face mask treatments?

Mice led to NASA, NASA to beauty salon application and an at-home light therapy mask for face rejuvenation.

NASA picked up on what Dr. Mester achieved as a plausible high-tech bandaid for their astronauts to help heal wounds in space - as the stratosphere-ER trip is, well... impractical.


Fast-forward a few decades, and the bulky LED monsters of beauty machines made their way into beauty salons, making astronauts out of us all as our eternal youth dreams got catapulted into the stratosphere. Then followed a revolution where the booming skincare industry—swept in a wave of miniaturization—figured out that most large machines (in any industry, not just beauty) could be made smaller, as they are mainly empty space. How small? Small enough to fit directly onto our face? Yes.

a fit young woman, no makeup, blond buzz cut, holding the FAQ 202 led face mask turned on and glowing red, one eye  is looking through the mask eye slit

What about comfort, hefty price tags, LED intensity, and the technical expertise needed to operate the machine? We'll address these legitimate questions after we explain WHY the LLLT therapy works. 


Why Does a Light Therapy Mask Work?

Because it goes into the skin and stimulates the mitochondria in the cells rather than temporarily and superficially fixing the surface, as topicals do. Mitochondria are microscopic energy factories and most human cells have about 2000 of these nanometric oval or bean-shaped organelles. Healthy mitochondria mean a long, healthy, and vital life, with youthful, fresh skin reflecting the state of the entire organism. In short, LED light gives your cells a little push if they've become weaker and sluggish due to the normal aging process by boosting ATP production. 


ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is an energy of life produced in the mitochondria and used by every cell in the body. No ATP, no life. It is so important that some poisons, such as cyanide, block ATP production. This is the cellular level on which an infrared face mask or a red LED therapy works (spanning wavelengths between 600nm and 850nm), stimulating cells to produce healthier, more youthful energy levels.


LED therapy also results in increased NO (nitric oxide) levels in tissues during and after the sessions. NO is a vasodilator that increases blood flow to the targeted area while stimulated mitochondria produce more ATP, allowing cells to work more efficiently with an abundant supply of fresh oxygen and nutrients. This helps  heal treated parts while decreasing chronic inflammation and increasing blood circulation. 


LED therapy can be effective in non-skincare use on certain types of cancer that respond to photodynamic therapy, gastritis, urinary tract infections, and as a fertility aid. In skin care, the LED light therapy effect depends on the wavelength (light color), helping with a wide range of most common skin issues such as eczema, sun damage, psoriasis, fine lines, loss of elasticity, dullness, and acne - with blue, near-infrared, and red light therapy benefits being the most well documented. 

A closeup of a young girl's eye and cheek with pimples and redness; she has a hand with light pink nails on her face

LED Light Mask Wavelengths and their benefits:

It penetrates more deeply than red LED and is said to help improve fine lines, sun spots, wrinkles, and sagging.

RED LED (650 nm) 
Is said to combat signs of skin aging for a more youthful look.

BLUE LED (420 nm)
Is said to reduce the appearance of blemishes.

GREEN LED (519 nm) 
Is said to brighten a dull complexion, and even skin

ORANGE LED (590 nm) 
Is said to revitalize skin and help improve skin texture.

PURPLE  LED (450 nm)
Is said to reduce the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation

CYAN LED (463 nm) 
Is said to calm and relieve stressed skin.

YELLOW LED (570 nm)  
Is said to reduce the appearance of redness and soothe skin.


So, after some hard science, back to the questions.


Why should you care about any of this? 

We might have invented a clock to keep time, but time will pass with or without the ticking, and all that is alive will age and deteriorate. Our well-designed human body naturally produces collagen to provide strength and structure to the skin and to repair skin cells. However, as we hit our mid-20s and early 30s, we start producing less collagen, and woe is us. 


As a result, our skin's natural healing processes slow down, and the skin becomes thinner. It starts to lose elasticity as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation appear, and we start taking longer in front of the bathroom mirror—pulling our hairline a bit to see the face from a few years ago. We've all done it. I did it this morning with a particularly tight ponytail.


LED Face Masks provide collagen-boosting LED therapy in the form of various light wavelengths to re-strengthen different skin layers and kick-start our skin's natural healing processes. This is why you should care.


A graph with skin cross section showing how deep each LED light color penetrates the skin; epidermis, dermis, hypodermis


Do at-home LED masks work?

Science says - yes. LED light face mask treatments are more affordable and much safer than laser treatments for face or harsh chemical treatments. Let's say you do red light therapy at home. It will require zero pain, no recovery or downtime, and have no adverse side effects. As with anything worth doing, you need a bit of consistency to see the desired results because red light therapy mask benefits hinge on your body's natural processes and healing capabilities. 


Plus, most (not all) at-home LED light therapy mask treatments are weaker than those of clinical machines so a couple of comfy treatments at home might count as one In the salon. Yet, once you start getting the tongue-in-cheek questions about "having something done," no one will need to remind you of your LED face mask light therapy ritual. You will smugly do so.



What is the best LED mask on the market today?

We'd have to go with FAQ™ 202 Anti-aging silicone LED face mask with 7 colors + NIR - a mask that can, with its 600 optimized points of light and 3000 pulses/second, match clinical power machines. FAQ™ Swiss, a brand under the FOREO umbrella, is a relatively new player on the anti-aging scene. The brand approached a problem differently, acknowledging the inevitability of aging but giving us a choice on how we age. They did it by respecting the natural skin processes and working with them, not against them, while keeping in mind the person and reality of life that may not allow hours a day for beauty treatments for most of us. If cables, ill-fitting, uncomfortable wearables, and bulky machinery annoy you to no end, this is also your lucky day.

A dark-haired woman, lying on her stomach on a blood-red couch in an elegant, modern glass and metal coffee shop with red tables, working on a laptop and wearing the LED face mask

FAQ™ Collection is an entirely new generation of LED masks with an ultra-lightweight smart Swiss design. Leave it to the Swiss to find a beautiful, elegant form that is overshadowed only by its service to a precise function. The wireless mask also has an open-eye design and a non-slip headband, allowing you to move around freely. Get on with your daily obligations while you nudge your skin into self-repair mode. 


The flexi-fit silicone mask was created by analyzing 10,000 faces of both genders, all races, and age groups, and it fits like a transparent second skin, molding perfectly to your facial contours for even LED light coverage. FAQ™ 202 is app-connected and offers pre-programmed treatments for days when you lack the energy to figure things out. However, you can also design your own therapies if you're feeling frisky. 

NIR LED light therapy

You'll love all the lights, but NIR LED offers some serious bang for your buck. Near Infrared (NIR) light therapy has been used for decades in the medical field to treat various skin conditions but has recently found its way to at-home rejuvenation tech to reverse signs of aging and improve skin health. NIR LED lights help stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles and sun spots, and brighten the complexion. It can also help reduce inflammation, leading to healthier-looking skin, with science proving that within 6-12 weeks of consistent therapy brings serious results. 

Proven results?

Talk is fine and dandy, but you know we want proof to offer you the most accurate information possible. And the FAQ™ team put their money where their mouth is. You know you're getting something valuable with FAQ™ 202 because we have visual and clinical proof of LED face mask benefits. 

Clinicals say:

  • Reduced wrinkles by 32% in just 2 weeks and significantly increased firmness.
  • Reduced acne by 48% and reduced excess sebum by 18% in just 2 weeks 
  • Significantly increased elasticity in just 2 weeks
Before and after LED light therapy closeups of face - forehead, cheeks, and eyes  with reduced wrinkles, less discoloration, and reduced blemishes

100% of users report:

  • skin is smoother, softer, and less dull 
  • skin tone is more even, with fewer sun spots
  • FAQ™ 202 fits their face perfectly 
  • pores are minimized
  • reduced redness and soothed skin
  • the LED light covers all areas of skin evenly


Hefty price tag?

The price tag is always a factor. LED therapy face masks don't come cheap. They start at a couple hundred dollars and can climb up to a couple thousand dollars, so our reservations are justified. It brings to mind the buying vs investing dilemma - poor thinking is when you buy things; rich thinking is when you use your money to invest (to get richer or improve your quality of life long-term). Basically, buying is instant gratification, and investments include the factor of future gain. If you think about an in-office LED treatment, these can cost from $25 to a whopping  $250 per session. If you're serious about anti-aging, this math puts things into perspective.


Technical expertise?

We have nothing but the most profound respect for skilled professionals. They can do more for self-confidence in a day than all the positive mirror pep talks we can muster. There are indeed invasive and delicate procedures that require a professional hand, but LED light therapy has no side effects and is entirely safe to do on our own. Swiss masters of engineering ensured you didn't need any previous knowledge or technical expertise to use FAQ™ 202. A single-button interface is so easy to use that, you don't need to be a hacker or get frustrated. The Swiss like it straightforward, useful, and beautiful.

FAQ 202 mask on a black background and showing its seven LED colors + NIR LED

It seems like a futuristic dream, doesn't it? Using something so banal and familiar as light to look younger. It reminds us of the receptionist from "The 5th Element" movie, who we all envied for that fancy nail polish pen. But light is life, and our body has evolved to have a symbiotic relationship with the sun's rays, responding to different wavelengths in various ways. LED therapy is basically rays segmented by usefulness - minus all the harmful, gene-mutating dangers of radiation, which is why you will not get a tan from LED light therapy.


We hope you got some helpful information. Have a great day, and enjoy living in your skin. 

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